Sunday, 4 December 2016

Mindelo

On Wednesday we moved from the anchorage where our neighbour looked like this ....


to the marina where we were still the smallest thing afloat...


We had a new list of jobs to get through including servicing Angus, re-organising the various antennas around the stern because the large vane was fouling them when sailing down wind, reconditioning the batteries with the smart battery charger and sorting out a replacement spinnaker pole and a number of others. After we had finished mooring up and checked in with the authorities, the rest of Wednesday was therefore spent on jobs. We made some progress!

On Thursday we gave ourselves a day off and after getting up late went for a look around town. The impression I formed having never been to Jamaica was of a Jamaican town but without the greenery. Most of the locals are clearly pretty hard up and there is a mixture of basic shops and market stalls and some vary up-market shops which presumably are there for the well to do locals who apparently exist and the cruise ships that visit from time to time.

The water front next to the marina is where the local fisherman clean and prepare their catch for market.


A view of the town from the replica Belem Tower
 We discovered the market and experienced some high pressure sales from the traders. I succumbed and bought a couple of nick-nacks as mementos of the island.
The  outside Market area

The inside fresh produce market

The islands were Portuguese and therefore there is a lot of interesting colonial architecture much of which is recently restored




The replica Belem Tower is a museum of the sea and we went in for a euro each to have a look around...






Whaling was a major industry in days gone by and more recently the island has been a base for cross Atlantic cable laying. Apart from tourism it's difficult to see what sustains the island today. It has no water and therefore most produce has to be shipped in from other islands. The water that is available is desalinated and in sufficiently short supply to require us to buy it through the use of metered cards in the marina that we use in the showers and when filling the boat's water tanks.

Lionel brought his boat in to the Marina on Thursday too and we went out for dinner that evening to a restaurant right next to the marina that looked very posh but the prices were very reasonable. Mick and I returned there yesterday evening but they had no cold beer so we ended up back at the Marina bar where they had plenty


Friday and Saturday were mainly spent working on the boat. We found an Italian Taverna on Friday night - the standard of cooking was excellent except Mick ended up with near raw Tuna that he did not enjoy!

A lunch break at the Marina bar - Lionel is on the right. The other guy is Philip from the USA waiting to be be blown home

Brody, Lionel's dog

Today more jobs beckon. Hopefully we'll get a day off tomorrow and might visit Sao Antao by ferry boat. The scenery there is apparently quite spectacular. After that the plan is to provision and leave on Wednesday.